Garfield County’s Senior Nutrition Program began in the fall of 1978, under the supervision of the Northwest Colorado Skyline Area Agency on Aging. The first meals were served in the basement of the United Methodist Church in Glenwood Springs. Other meal sites have developed as community needs assessments proved substantial need.
The Office of Senior Programs has been a program sponsored by Colorado Mountain College in Garfield County since 1974, when the Garfield County Council on Aging asked the college to be a sponsoring agency. The school’s participation was a requirement to apply for Federal Older American Act funds to serve seniors with the Traveler senior transportation program and the development of meal programs in Garfield County communities. Colorado Mountain College continues to sponsor these programs as a community service.
Funding for the nutrition program is provided through the Northwest Colorado Area Agency on Aging, Region 11-the Older Americans Funding; Title III C1 and C2; the Older Coloradoans Fund; the State of Colorado Long Bill; as well as funds through the Nutrition Services Incentive Program. Meal donations from seniors and their families also support the program. Other supporters include Garfield County, Aspen Valley Medical Foundation, local service clubs, local businesses, the City of Glenwood Springs, Colorado Mountain College, Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment-Colorado Physical Activity and Nutrition Program, and other community donations.
CMC’s director of senior programs, Debera Stewart, has been involved with the nutrition program since June of 1994. Stewart supervises the Senior Nutrition Program and the Senior and Disabled Transportation Program, and oversees the operations of the High Country Retired and Senior Volunteer Program.
The nutrition program is staffed by the director, accounts manager, and two hourly contract dietitians that provide guidance and approval of menus, food safety and sanitation, kitchen inspections, nutritional counseling, four contract meal preparation kitchens and lots of volunteers.
Stewart says the Senior Nutrition Program could not survive without her treasured volunteers. A local volunteer meal-site coordinator at each site helps coordinate local activities, serves meals, provides entertainment, and assists other site volunteers. Approximately 190 senior volunteers are enrolled with the program, and three Rifle High School students regularly help with the New Castle evening meal program on Wednesdays, as part of their community service.
High Country RSVP is sponsoring a Volunteer Roundup at the Glenwood Springs Mall from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 20. Local nonprofit agencies will have lots of information to arouse your community activism. Come out and see how your valuable time can make a difference!
Kay Vasilakis’ column “Nonprofit Spotlight” appears every other Wednesday. For news tips and inspirations, please call 984-2308.
Mission: To promote the independence, dignity, good health and nutritional well-being of older persons in Garfield County.
Contact: Debera Stewart, Director of Senior Programs, 947-8464
Meal sites (reservations are required):
Glenwood Springs: Colorado Mountain College, 1402 Blake Ave., lunch at noon Tuesdays and Fridays, call 945-9117
Carbondale: Crystal Meadows Senior Housing, 1250 Hendrick Drive, lunch at noon Wednesdays, call 945-9117
Rifle: Rifle Senior Center, 50 Ute Ave., lunch at noon Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, call 625-1877 or 625-1366
Parachute: Valley Senior Center, 500 North Parachute Ave., lunch at noon Wednesdays, call 285-7216
Silt: Burning Mountains Fire Station, lunch at noon Wednesdays at, call 625-1877 or 625-1366
New Castle: The New Castle Cafe, lunch at 11:30 a.m. Mondays, evening meals at 6 p.m. Wednesdays, call 984-2334 or 984-2301
Carbondale: Meals on Wheels, home-delivered meals are available in the Carbondale community only. Call Deb Stewart at 947-8464.
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